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December 2021

Attachment and temperament in early childhood; Implications for later behavior problems

Author(s): Miljkovitch, R., Plancherel, B., Halfon, O., Ansermet, F.

Journal/Book: Infant Child Dev. 2000; 9: Baffins Lane Chichester, W Sussex PO19 1UD, England. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 17-32.

Abstract: In the context of a French validation study, the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) was administered to more than 3000 French speaking mothers of 5-year-old children. Scores were factor-analyzed. Principal components analysis revealed four dimensions: externalizing and internalizing behavior problems, immaturity and somatoform disorders. Another sample of 40 mothers participated in a longitudinal study, filling in the CBCL when their children were 5 years old. These children had been observed previously in the Strange Situation (SSP) at 21 months. Several dichotomous variables derived from the SSP (e.g. Secure versus insecure, proximal versus distal interaction with the mother, avoidant behavior) have been used as predictors of the four dimensions extracted from the CBCL. Hierarchical regressions showed that proximal behaviors with the mother, which reflect temperamental characteristics independently of the quality of attachment, predicted internalizing problems, whereas avoidance of the mother, or insecure-avoidant attachment, predicted internalizing as well as externalizing problems at 5 years of age. These results show that attachment and temperament, as assessed by the SSP, may each have specific implications for later behavior problems.

Note: Article Pierrehumbert B, Univ Lausanne, Serv Psychiat Enfant & Adolescent, Res Unit, 25A Rue Bugnon, CH-1005 Lausanne, SWITZERLAND

Keyword(s): attachment; behavior problems; temperament; INFANT-MOTHER ATTACHMENT; STRANGE SITUATION; SECURITY; QUALITY; PREDICTORS; ALEXITHYMIA; STRATEGIES; DISORDERS; PRESCHOOL; CHILDREN


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